Aviation regulator says verification of 10 more pilots will be completed by next week
Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Thursday announced that it had thus far validated the credentials of 166 Pakistani pilots employed in 10 foreign countries, adding that the verification process for 10 more would be completed by next week.
In a series of posts on Twitter, the CAA said that it had thus far received requests from the U.A.E., Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait for “validation of credentials of 176 Pakistani pilots.”
It said that of these, 166 had already been validated as “genuine and certified by the CAA” as having no anomalies. “Process for the remaining 10 shall be concluded by next week. [The] same information has been communicated to respective countries,” it added.
The CAA said that the Board of Inquiry tasked with investigating pilots with dubious or fake licenses had identified 262 pilots with possessing suspicious licenses. It said that these men had been grounded immediately on the instructions of the Government of Pakistan, adding that the federal cabinet had approved the cancellation of licenses for 28 of these pilots.
“All 28 pilots will not be able to undertake any flying duties and their licenses stand cancelled after following proper legal procedures,” including personal hearings, read the statement. It said that the federal cabinet had deliberated on the matter twice before taking a final decision.
The aviation regulator said the process of verification for 76 additional pilots has been initiated, adding that the remainder’s credentials would also be verified as per formal procedures.
“The entire process of scrutiny and validation followed by necessary disciplinary action is being closely monitored and personally supervised by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan,” it added.
Various airlines and air safety regulators from across the world demanded proof of Pakistani pilots’ qualifications after the aviation minister alleged in Parliament that around a third of all Pakistani pilots held “dubious licenses.”
Of the 262 Pakistani pilots grounded due to the aviation minister’s claims, 109 are commercial and 153 airline transport pilots. They would remain grounded until their licenses have been investigated, says PIA. It has said of the grounded pilots, 141 were from PIA, nine from Air Blue, 10 from Serene Airline, and 17 from the defunct Shaheen Airlines.